AMERICAN SAMOA GOVERNOR TAUESE VOWS NOT TO INTERFERE WITH FUND INVESTIGATION

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PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (February 27, 1998 - PACNEWS)---American Samoa Governor Tauese Sunia has assured the Senate that he will not interfere with any investigation into the use of funds from the government's tank farm.

The Senate last month called on the Attorney General to investigate the spending of revenue from tank farm rental fees and prosecute those responsible for any illegal spending.

The Senate made the request after conducting its own probe in which it found several questionable expenditures over the past year by the Governor's office. The tank farm rental fees are mandated by law to be spent only for petroleum related projects, for example, the improvement of the fuel tanks.

But the Senate investigation discovered about $160,000 was spent on renovations and new furniture for the Governor's house and more than $10,000 was used to pay for the Governor's personal credit card charges.

Responding to the Senate investigation report, Governor Tauese said he's appointing a five-member task force to check out the legality of the tank farm expenditures.

The Governor said he has repaid the $10,227 that was used to pay his credit card bill but pointed out that these were for expenses related to his duties as Governor.

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